How to Choose a Soft Roof for the Roof of a Private House

Features and types of flexible roofing materials, their structure, and how to determine the quality. How to install and what are the main advantages. The professionals at sinayroofing ( can help you understand the roofing choice for your home.

The differences between manufacturers.

How to choose a soft roof for a roof and not to regret – the question, the answer to which you can learn only if you understand what this material is different from others, what it is, and what it consists of. The structure of flexible materials allows them to cover even the dome but requires compliance with the installation technique. The right choice of manufacturer is also important. 

Types of soft roof

The soft roof is impregnated with bitumen composition and coated with mineral chips basis on fiberglass or cardboard and produced in shingles or roll coating.

Homeowners prefer the first option with complex roofs because of its flexibility and aesthetic appearance. As for roll cover, it is often used for flat roofs.


Roll-up coating – is a good option for those who decide which soft roof is better if you need to cover the flat or simple gable roof. Make it in the form of twenty-meter strips, rolled into rolls. The basis is the structure of a multilayer waterproofing membrane.

The first layer is a reinforcing base, for which the manufacturer can use a choice of fiberglass, polyester, or glass fiber. The bottom layer is applied with bitumen or bituminous-polymer composition in two layers to create strength and additional protection against moisture. Bitumen is covered with a film of fusible polyethylene, on which the sprinkle of stone (the best quality is considered granite).

The roof, which is mounted roll coating, should have an angle of inclination not less than one and a half degrees. Proper installation involves preliminary laying of insulation, a layer of which is placed at the bottom and on top of it – a waterproofing membrane. Fasten the roll with a gas burner, melting the adhesive. It is important to have overlaps on the edges of sheets of not less than 10 cm.

As the final coating of a similar material used on flat roofs, particularly urban high-rise buildings, in private housing, rolls often play the role of additional waterproofing with a long service life – about half a century.

Among the advantages particularly stand out:

  • repairability;
  • low cost;
  • easy installation;
  • low weight.

However, the main drawback is limiting the use of the material in private homes, considering high water vapor permeability.

Bitumen shingles

The flexible shingle of bitumen – is today the most popular option for soft roofing. It takes the form of flat sheets with a shaped pattern on edge, repeating the shape typical of ceramic tiles. It can be both rectangular and hexagonal.

It almost always has a standard size of 33 cm by 1 meter. Most often chosen for a roof of a private house, which has a complex shape, the sheets can cover even the dome because of their flexibility. Aesthetically, such tiles are not inferior to ceramic tiles.

Because the production of soft tiles can use a variety of dyes and textures, it is possible to achieve the most unexpected decorative effects. Such as simulating covered with moss or chipped stone roof of an old house.

The advantages of shingles include durability – it serves for about 20 years. There are no restrictions on the maximum slope, but you can not cover the roof, the slope of which is less than 10 degrees. In addition to covering the roof, this flexible material is also good for vertical surfaces, allowing you to create interesting designs. 

The structure of a soft roof

A soft roof, roll, or tile, in its structure is a pie consisting of several layers:

  • base;
  • protective coating;
  • mineral sprinkle.

The quality of the material depends on the thickness of the base and the amount of bitumen composition. As well as the type of protection.

Bituminous base

A soft roof consists of fiberglass (fiberglass) or cardboard covered with a special bitumen or bituminous-polymer composition. Thanks to such a pie roof, do not let moisture while maintaining flexibility and durability.


Shingles and roll coating sprinkle a layer of special mineral granules to create texture and increase strength. In most cases, they are made of granite. Such granules increase the material’s service life and give it the most natural look.

The substrate: fiberglass fleece or cardboard? What is better?

It is solving the question of which flexible roofing for a private residential house to choose. The first thing to pay attention to is the type of foundation. Today, most often offered a choice between glass fleece and cardboard.

In the case of the latter material, the decisive factor for many consumers is the price – it is lower than that of coatings based on glass fibers. At the same time, even bitumen-impregnated cardboard substrates are less durable, so roll material must be laid in several layers.

Glass fiber – is the best base material for flexible shingles. It is much stronger than cardboard and a better protector from precipitation. But for higher quality, consumers will have to pay more.

Advantages of soft roofs

Due to its appearance, shape, and materials from which it is made, the soft roof has several advantages:

  • waterproofing properties;
  • Resistance to climatic and weather fluctuations;
  • ease of installation;
  • decorative effect.

Due to the presence of a bituminous layer, soft roofing material can hold moisture like no other. At the same time, it is lightweight and flexible, which allows you to cover quite complex structures.

Features of flexible shingles

Flexible shingles – the most common option for a soft roof in private housing. Its features include a variety of design solutions – multilayer and lamination.

They extend the life of the material and increase choice for design decisions. At the same time, shingles require compliance with the correct installation technology, especially the presence of a solid crate.

Features installation

High-quality installation of shingles or other soft roofing – not very difficult. But it requires compliance with certain rules. There are several obligatory stages which consist of work on the installation of construction on a private house:

  • Preparation of the base under the coating;
  • Installation of a solid crate;
  • Checking for compliance with slope norms;
  • Installation of exhaust systems to ensure air circulation;
  • laying of the roof covering itself, starting from the eaves.

If mounted tiles, they do it in rows. Each successive row is laid so that the seams fit together as tightly as possible. The attachment method depends on the manufacturer – some do sheet adhesive, and in other cases, it requires heating with a gas burner. In both cases, the optimum temperature for the work ranges from 6 to 10 degrees.

There are certain technological peculiarities of installation work on roofing arrangement from roll materials. So:

  • Rolled material is laid on a concrete screed or wooden floor slabs;
  • the basis for coating putty and primed with mastic;
  • a day before the laying of the cloth spread out for flattening;
  • Fasten, warming up the bottom layer and the edges of the cloth with a construction hairdryer, and press firmly to the ground.

Lay the roll material with an overlap from bottom to top. The slope of the roof mustn’t exceed the maximum possible for this coating.

Comparison of manufacturers of soft roof

On the Russian market, the soft roof’s best manufacturers are from abroad and from our country. The answer to the question of how to choose the right roofing material, shingles which suitable manufacturer to install on the house lies in a comparison of proposals leaders. 

Conclusions: which shingles to choose

The answer to the question of how to choose a flexible shingle lies in taking into account factors such as:

  • The quality of the substrate used in its production,
  • impregnation composition,
  • The type of protective layer.

It plays a role and the design of the roof, which will put a soft covering. Flexible shingles should also be suitable for the climatic conditions of the area. 

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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